Marañon sends alarm bells
on global warming effects
Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr. in Hinobaan, Negros Occidental, Saturday indicated that he may not be receptive to local executives seeking provincial government support if they fail to implement measures for the protection of the environment amid the threats posed by global warming, a press release from the Capitol said.
“The threat is here and now. It is real and its effects are irreversible,” said Marañon, in his speech before hundreds of small farm-members of the Asia Organic Farmers Association.
The OAFA, headed by Fernando Manlangit, is the main beneficiary of the P6 million rice processing center and pre and post-harvest facilities worth more than P2 million which the governor delivered here over the weekend.
But in the middle of his address to a gathering held under a make-shift tent, Marañon got distracted at the sight of a house built on a balding mountain across a post-card pretty rice field.
The sight of thick smoke, possibly indicating that kaingin or charcoal-making activities are going on unchecked in the same area, left the governor tongue-tied.
He challenged Mayor Ernesto Estrao and other officials to, once and for all, encourage the resident to come down and relocate in the lowlands.
He made a similar call earlier in Barangay Daug, where he inaugurated the vilage water system project completed courtesy of the Provincial Development Fund.
The governor instructed Daug Barangay Captain TeresitaSarino to spearhead a massive tree-planting campaign immediately to protect the receding mountain cover and assure the community of steady water supply coming from upland springs.
“Take action. Enact an ordinance banning all forms of forest encroachment including large-scale charcoal making operations. You should support our national forestry laws by passing local initiatives,” the irate governor added.
Otherwise, he said, “I might think twice of giving you support if you fail to make a move and contribute to the campaign on global warming.”
If you don’t initiate measures locally, you will wake up one day and discover that the sea water level has reached to a point that it can cause massive flooding; our marine life and that of our communities will be put at a greater risk; our spring water sources will bleed dry if we don’t plant trees and our government irrigation projects will be of no use,” Marañon said.
Recently, Marañon made strong pronouncements against illegal fishing operations in LGUs straddling along coastlines, including Cauayan and Hinigaran, among others, and assured local leaders that Capitol will acquire additional equipment for the Provincial BantayDagat to implement the provisions of Republic Act 8550, otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code, that bans fishing activities within the 15-kilometer radius of municipal waters.
The law has provided provisions that LGUs can even expand the ban coverage through enabling local ordinances, the governor said in the press release.*
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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has come up with a set of guidelines for planning and managing of ecotourism activities within nationally designated protected areas, its press release said.
DENR secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said he recently issued Department Administrative Order No. 2013-19 to support conservation efforts and sustainable use of natural resources in protected areas with tremendous potential for ecotourism development.
“The DAO institutionalizes the entire process of developing ecotourism within our protected areas, applies its concepts and principles, and ensures equal participation and benefits among the community members and other stakeholders,” Paje said.
Protected areas, now numbering 240 nationwide, are defined as “portions of land and water set aside for their unique physical and biological significance, managed to enhance biodiversity and protected against destructive human exploitation” as defined under Republic Act 7586, or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992, the press release said.
Areas with ecotourism potential may refer to terrestrial, coastal or marine, caves, and wetland ecosystems.
Other laws such as the Tourism Act and the Magna Carta for Women have been considered in the crafting of the DAO to ensure that activities within protected areas would be consistent with ecotourism principles, Paje said.*
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